Diabetes medicine shortage will continue

Diabetes medicine

This article was last updated on March 17, 2023

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Diabetes medicine shortage will continue

The Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB) has warned that there will be a year-long shortage of the diabetes medication Ozempic due to increased demand, including its unauthorized use as a weight-loss aid.

Ozempic is approved for use only in individuals with diabetes in the Netherlands, particularly those with type 2 diabetes, as it helps lower blood sugar levels. The MEB advises against using the medication without medical supervision. However, on social media, some celebrities such as Elon Musk have praised the drug as a “wonder drug” for weight loss. Although Ozempic works as a weight-loss aid, its effects are temporary, and it should not be used for this purpose.

The manufacturer of Ozempic, Novo Nordisk, has another product called Wegovy that is approved for weight loss but is not yet available in the Dutch market. The shortage of Ozempic may be due to the medication’s use for weight loss in some countries. Last year, over 1500 medications became scarce, prompting doctors and pharmacists to request solutions from the House of Representatives.

One solution put forward is to produce medications locally to reduce dependence on raw materials from Asia. The House of Representatives will discuss the pharmaceutical policy in the coming week.

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